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Minneapolis activist reacts to city’s George Floyd Square reopening effort

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (FOX 47) — On Tuesday morning, the City of Minneapolis had crews go to George Floyd Square to remove barriers placed by community members. The memorial for Floyd went up at the intersection of 38th and Chicago shortly after Floyd was murdered.

Last Thursday, the city did the same thing and received backlash from many in the community and even Floyd’s family.

“Through all of this we have been able to maintain a space, where we can come and be together for George and really be there for each other,” said Lavish Mack, Minneapolis-based activist.

Mack has spent many days at George Floyd Square since the beginning.

“That space has definitely changed since I was first there. There was fruit and vegetables and just love lining the streets. It was like a fairy tale, you couldn’t make it up. And then some things changed and it wasn’t like a place of peace because of some people,” he said.

Violent incidents at the square have contributed to the city’s effort to reopen the area.

Last week, after crews began the first phase of reopening the area, Mayor Jacob Frey told the media the spot where Floyd died will remain untouched.

“Through a phased reconnection we can also find a way to provide the necessary social services and city services that has been missing sometimes over this past year,” Frey said.

Even that approach isn’t sitting right with many community members.

“I don’t know if people will be able to properly mourn his death if they take away our space. If there is just this little space allocated, I don’t think that’s enough. I think it will actually be more dangerous allowing cars to go through there. And I think their decisions was rushed. And they didn’t do it in a timely fashion and they didn’t work with the community in any aspect. They just ran through it,” Mack said.

Mayor Frey did collaborate with one community organization on the reopening. That organization says it talked to neighbors and 90 percent wanted the intersection to reopen.

KaMaria Braye

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